Nonmedical General To Be Named as Deputy Commander
Army officials plan to revise the command structure at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, installing a nonmedical general officer as deputy commander to ensure that administrative operations run smoothly, in the wake of reports of serious problems with outpatient care at the facility, officials said yesterday.
A one-star general -- who has not yet been identified -- will work with Maj. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, a physician who was named on Friday to head Walter Reed, according to two defense officials. The new deputy will be a general who will bring a nonmedical eye to the operation to "make it run like it's supposed to run," said one Army official familiar with the decision.
Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, has also directed that an infantry officer -- one who recently served in Iraq -- assume the leadership of a new unit at Walter Reed called the "Wounded Warrior Transition Brigade," whose specific aim is to take care of outpatients. The brigade will address problems such as those identified in a series of Washington Post reports about substandard conditions and bureaucratic tangles that affected the care of injured soldiers who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Like the idea of a recently-returned infantry officer heading up the new Transition Brigade.